DeWitt: Demographics drives Wegmans' growth

Already the largest Wegmans grocery store in the area, the high volume DeWitt depot will continue to grow this year, adding another substantial 18,000 square feet to the existing 123,000 square foot space. The reason? Demographics.

Although the store is only 12 years old, Wegmans continues to reinvest in the company, said Pat Lynch, general manager.

Shoppers would never know construction is currently taking place. To the far left of the store, a temporary wall stands between the paper products and the latest appendage, blocking out noise and containing dust and debris.

"We try to make this transition as seamless as possible," said Enrico Fabrizi, service manager. It won't close during construction either, Lynch said.

The smooth conversion benefits not only shoppers, but employees as well.

Wegmans is renowned for being listed in Fortune Magazine's "Best 100 Places to Work." This year marks its tenth year of recognition.

"It has always been about the people," Lynch said. "It's who we are. We work at it every year. [The survey] is judged by our own people."

Customers should see the first phase of the renovations on April 19. Details on the next phase (which involves the opposite side of the store) were not readily available. Total renovation will be completed on or around Thanksgiving this year. A minimal 60 parking spots will be eliminated after the expansion.

A celebratory event will be planned at completion.

Listed below are highlights of the changes taking place according to five Wegmans managers.

Frozen food and dairy departments

There will be a totally new and expanded frozen food department with a new look in d (c)cor and colors. "The floor tiles will no longer be yellow and brown," said Mitchell. "They will be muted white and gray, similar to our Taft Road store."

All frozen cases will have glass doors. "There will no longer be the open "coffin-style" cases," Lynch said.

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